July 30, 2020 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Thunderbean Updates – and a Kinex-inspired “Cuphead” Trailer

School commitments have started already (did they ever stop?) but the Thunderbean projects continue here more furious than ever. Sorry to be a little light on content – super busy week. Next week will be packed here.

Having good help right now is really making things move along. Shipping of various things continues at the office. Mary has taken over correspondence; If you’re missing anything that’s finished, write her at my email: and she (along with David Grauman) will make sure they’re out the door to you.

Having much needed help is alleviating a lot of the stress associated with so many things going on with the business, letting me concentrate on various balls I’ve dropped—and helping me be able to sit and finish some of these projects. Going into the archive area here, I’m surrounded by things to fix, work on, send to the next person and so on. I’m attempting to remedy two or more a week in addition to finishing titles; it’s going quite well. This might be the most productive summer of my life so far, but sadly limited in traveling by the current pandemic.

In Rainbow Parade Vol 1 News, animation continues on the titles. Everything else is done, and I’ll be working on wrapping it up to get off to replication. I can’t wait. The archives are still somewhat closed, so its still a challenge to get other materials scanned for various projects.

Cleanup animation drawing from ‘Parrotville Fire Department – courtesy of Ted Watts

Having access to a Lasergraphics scanner much more locally is making getting things done here easier. We’ve put a lot of things in their queue for the coming few weeks- mostly special discs and a missing film here or there on various titles. We’re doing one called ‘Top Shelf Scans’ to help defray some of those costs and get these things out the door a little easier. Only available for a few more days. Details are here.

In Flip the Frog news, the only known print of Funny Face with it original MGM titles is being scanned this week! This 35mm nitrate print is owned by a private collector, and I’m grateful to mark one more original title sequence off the list, just before we final the set. Our own Devon Baxter did a really nice job cleaning up the other really nice 35mm material on the film (from the Blackhawk/UCLA archives print) so we’ll have to do a comparison. It will be the third element we’ve scanned on this title for the project (some films have more).

The work on the Cartoon Commercials 2 blu-ray has been taking up all my free time this past week, and its looking spiffy. I really like it – a majority of the material on it I had never seen before scanning them. I was hoping to finish the master today, but didn’t quite get there. It will be done this week and I’ll be showing things from the set next week here. Another fun set finished. Next week, another too!

Click to Enlarge

Some news in the coming week or so on Stop Motion Marvels 2. After Rainbow and 3 or 4 more special sets that are almost done, this is next off the punch list!

As I was looking through all the older files for the first commercials set (back in 2006 and 07) I found a bunch of transfers we had done on the 3 Stooges TV cartoons. I found myself watching the live action footage that is part of those films. That’s some really strange stuff. I have a section in my 16mm cartoon collection organized by series, and next to that series are the Sam Bassett – Hound for Hire cartoons. That shelf should either be called ‘bizarre cartoons’ or ‘reels of red film’. I actually really like those Sam Bassett cartoons – Jerry runs these at his “Worst Cartoons Ever” presentations at Comic Con – they’re some of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. I also browsed the shelf of other WW2 materials that are here. At some point I’d like to add to the collection of things we’ve scanned, knowing now where the master materials are for a few key things.

If you’ve never seen one of these, this is a good one to start with:

And, finally, here is my favorite new thing this week: a stop Motion ad for the Cuphead game now being available on Playstation 4. They say it’s inspired by The Peanut Vendor (see my ancient scan of Len Lye’s experimental short here) but it’s also clearly inspired by some of the Kinex Shorts. He looks just like Chip the Wooden Man! I love that these films are influencing new work in this way.

Here’s the Chip shorts that were on Stop Motion Marvels 1 uploaded by Sebastian Ortiz:

Have a good week everyone!


  • I’m familiar with “The Kangeroo [sic] Kid” from Thunderbean’s “The Strangest Cartoons Ever Made!” DVD, and I may be the only person who has ever bothered to learn the song the rabbits sing in the “cemetary [sic]”. It reminds me of a proof my eight-grade algebra teacher once showed me proving that 1 = 2. The flaw in the proof, which I couldn’t spot at the time, was a step that divided both sides of the equation by (a – b) where a = b; in other words, dividing by zero. Well, we can’t hold the rabbits’ faulty division against them, when we all know they’re famous for multiplying. “You want brains? The graveyard is full of ’em!”

    I love the Cuphead promo. My hat’s off to anyone who can work a word like “assiduously” into a song! It almost makes me wish I had a PlayStation. Almost….

  • Hard to believe “The Kangaroo Kid” was animated by the fine folks at Zagreb Film, who usually do much better than this. They seem to have ran into the same problem Gene Deitch had doing Tom and Jerry in Prague: working on a style they weren’t accustomed to with lower budgets and tighter deadlines.

  • Has there been a pre-order for Stop motion Marvels 2 yet? My records show I pre-ordered the Stop Motion Marvels Blu-Ray upgrade but not a Volume 2. Thanks Steve!

  • I’m surprised Sam Bassett gets included in the “Worst Cartoons Ever”! Bizarre yes – but really good because imaginative and reasonably atmospheric. I’ve watched the SB Thunderbean DVD a few times and it’s one of my favourite Thunderbean releases!

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